11th Jul 2020

EU commission chief calls for more eco-technology

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has called on Europe to boost its climate technology efforts if it wants to stay a world leader and benefit from the business likely to be made from low carbon technology in the future.

Speaking at the launch of the EU Green Week on Tuesday (12 June), Mr Barroso said that innovation and businesses, stimulated by European environment policies has made Europe a world leader in a number of environmental technologies, such as wind, solar and wave power.

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  • Mr Barroso - urging businesses to invest in eco-technology (Photo: ec.europa)

"Implementation of our climate and energy package will unleash a new wave of eco-innovation, as the most dynamic firms compete to be first on the market with the low-carbon technologies of the future," he said about the commission's January proposal for a new EU climate and energy policy.

"European industries must seize this opportunity with both hands," he urged. "I really believe that in that matter the Americans are doing a lot. And if we in Europe don't move at least as quick as they are doing, we will discover that we will lose what we can call the 'first mover advantage'."

The eco-technology sector currently employs around 3.4 million people in the 27-member bloc and its annual turnover represents more than 2 percent of EU GDP, according to the EU executive.

"Our active policies for environmental protection and sustainable development are indeed policies for development and are making Europe more - and not less – competitive," Mr Barroso pointed out.

He added that Europe's fast-growing eco-technologies sector is making a considerable contribution to the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs – aimed at making the bloc more competitive.

Mr Barroso also emphasised that the European Institute of Technology – his own pet project aimed at pooling Europe's resources and connecting universities, research institutes as well as businesses and set to be launched next year – had an important role to play in the strive for remaining a world leader on climate technologies.

Climate change and energy security is planned to become the first subject that the technology institute will work extensively on.

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